Necessity or Part of the Problem?
Anyone whom parks anywhere in Joburg has come across these characters in various shapes and forms…from the (obviously) drunk / hungover looking for a few bucks for the next bottle of gutrot in a papsak , to the dignified uniformed version at chain stores and shopping malls.
My pet hate is the guy that has to direct you into a parking bay and then out again- Listen China! I was parallel and reverse parking before you were born- PLEASE DON’T TELL ME HOW TO FUCKING DRIVE!
So , the question remains , is this a service or not?
Are there any studies that prove that the presence of car guards effectively reduce the levels of car crime in the city?
Do they reduce the number of break-ins into parked vehicles ? Are they a deterrent to would be criminals?
Are the informal guards just as effective as the uniformed ones?
Or , on the other hand , do they contribute to car break ins by having access and time to look into cars and see if there are any valuables worth taking?
Since everyone these days has a phone, they can call their “buddies” and advise them that your car may be worth a slightly more personal form of “guarding”…even take images of your number plate or car so that they get the right one?
Do you pay them?
That depends…mainly on whether I get the sense that this person has actually done some good and is just trying to scratch out a living or not..
The one thing that does annoy me (as well) is when car guards in shopping centres are nowhere to be seen when you pull in , and then suddenly appear to help you with your parcels or getting out of the bay when you are leaving..
This fucks me off no end..
So piece of advice for any car guards reading this – be part of the process from the start…don’t fucking arrive halfway and then expect me to give you money.
Another issue here is whether I am greeted when I get out of my car…although in that first verbal interaction lies the key..
You see , we as Joburger’s can tell when someone is bullshitting us or not…like the drunken okes that show up at you house at night asking for food – when they have been drinking all day and spin you some sad bullshit story – but that’s for another time…
So , getting back to the bullshitting story…we can tell ( it’s a sixth sense) when someone is lying to us and pretending to help or care , when they really don’t…Mind you , that runs all the way downill from our president…Rule of Nature – Shit always flows downhill!
But , here is the thing…sometimes , these are people that have found a way to make a little bit of a living and just need some support for a service that will help them put food on the table for themselves and their families.
I guess it really comes down to how we feel at the time…
If you smell alcohol or the person offering to watch your car couldn’t watch a cow in a shower, then rather don’t as almost surely any money given will go to the next drink or fix.
On the other hand ( Darren) , if you get a sense that this person just need a little contribution from you , be generous, give a R5 or even R10…as we approach the silly season , maybe pick a guard that you have interacted with over the past year and perhaps offer a R20 or even R50…
After all , that money that you give may even restore some faith in humanity and in the people of Joburg in the eyes of someone that has seen the poorer side of our city.
And that’s the Joburg Truth.